Angela Vaughn recognized the signal: a double-click code. It came from her radio, mimicking the sound of static. She knew it wasn’t. Looking around to see if anyone had noticed, she reached in her shoulder bag for a throwaway cell phone, a phone she wasn’t supposed to have. When she was hired, Charles Claussen made it clear there were to be no unapproved communication devices for her, or anyone else who worked for him.
It was even written into her employment contract. She also had to allow the company to put a tap on her separate communication devices—her personal cell and her home landline. Claussen founded and built the Enseûrtech network of communications himself, so his com channels were to be the only ones used, especially by his security people. He had a burning need to know everything that happened anywhere within his company’s operations.
It was Angela’s job to enforce the rule about unapproved com devices, but she was about to break that rule.
The system was designed to allow Claussen to personally monitor any wireless transmissions or electronic messages.
“I have this one with me twenty-four hours a day,” he’d once told her, producing a small handheld receiver. “I can listen to people at random—or target a particular employee, if necessary,” he’d said with a smile that bordered on a smirk. “I developed the software program to pick up keywords, to decipher attempts at message coding, and to strangle any attempts at deception or betrayal.” He’d put the radio away as he continued. “I keep track of small details. Believe me, I have an uncanny way of knowing when to listen in on someone.”
Angela Vaughn knew it was his custom to browse through e-mails. On occasion, he would send a blistering message to a department supervisor about something he had seen. Whenever he did, the targeted name would usually disappear from the Enseûrtech payroll.
Angela knew Claussen monitored all the two-way radio traffic, the signals she used to communicate with her field teams. She knew his obsession meant he would almost certainly be listening tonight, eager for any news about the TV reporter or her cameraman—along with any sighting of Matt Tremain.
Screw him, she thought. She would never have said that aloud.
She had ways of talking to her trusted security connections without his ever knowing about it.
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